By Chuck Doud
The Madera Tribune
A fair number of Madera County citizens have had no small amount of trouble with pit bulls. A lot of them feel it would be a good idea to outlaw those dogs. People report being attacked by pit bulls. They also report pit bulls attacking their dogs.
Now, we learn that scientists are attacking pit bulls, but not with their teeth. A dispatch from Malcolm Gay, a science writer for The New York Times, tells us that a national bad-dog DNA database is being set up.
It’s a nationwide effort because pit bull attacks apparently aren’t just a Madera problem. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals, along with similar groups from seven states, are joining with the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at UC Davis to do DNA comparisons on known bad pit bulls. They want to see whether these dogs are related by specific strains.
So far, the comparisons on 400 dogs seem to prove that pit bulls used in dog fighting are likely to be related.
Dog fighting is illegal, and usually carried out away from the eyes of all but the fans and fighting-dog owners. But it’s no small industry. It’s often associated with drug trafficking. Purses can be big at these illicit fights. The betting can be hot.
But most important to dog fighters is the breeding. “The pups of a champion fighter can fetch up to $5,000 each,” Malcolm Gay quotes Tim Rickey of the ASPCA.
Dog fights are a way of eliminating the not-so-good bloodlines, and preserving the bloodlines of the most vicious animals. In other words, they are a way of carrying on the bloodlines of the worst of the bad dogs.
For the dogs themselves, this is horrible. They are born to kill or be killed. Perhaps the DNA database will help track down the breeders and put them out of business.